Filed under: Art & Inspiration
We’ve talked old tin and plastic toys before, but I have a special love for the 1930′s cast iron racers, especially the roadsters made by the Hubley Manufacturing Company out of Lancaster, Penn. What makes the Hubley racers so great to me is the subtle sense of speed, accentuated by the faceless driver behind the wheel, with his body is slightly leaning forward in motion. You can see the indication of gauntlet gloves and round goggles on a drivers cap. Some of the rarer cars had articulating “flames” coming out of the velocity stacks, or hinged “porthole” hoods with detailed straight eight race motors. Hubley even made a few racers with functional single or double headlamps. By the late 1940s, cast iron was becoming too labor intensive and expensive to cast for toys, and the process moved to stamped tin, cast aluminum, and bakelite plastic for cheaper toy models. These prewar iron racers had class, substance, and a simple, raw purity to them… And Hubley’s were among the coolest.